Russians favor immigration restrictions – poll

Migrant Workers file photo

MOSCOW. Dec 14 (Interfax) – The majority of Russians want the government to restrict labor immigration.

The number of people favoring labor immigration restrictions has grown from 57% to a six-year high of 64% over the past 12 months, according to a November poll held by the Levada Analytical Center.

The number of those who have not yet formed an opinion on the issue has dropped from 22% to 15% over the same period, while the share of people who don’t mind illegal migrants being legalized (20%) and think that the government should help them find jobs and assimilate remains unchanged.

Asked how they viewed the idea of “Russia for Russians,” 23% of respondents were against it, 15% welcomed it (19% a year ago), and another 41% said that they could support it but only “within reasonable limits” (40%).

The overwhelming majority of respondents (68%) rule out mass ethnic clashes in their neighborhoods and 23% (the same as a year ago) said that this is not unlikely.

The poll was conducted in 45 communities across 45 regions.

Earlier, President Vladimir Putin, in his annual state-of-the-nation address, suggested simplifying citizenship formalities for certain categories of people, while simultaneously tightening punishment for illegal immigration.