Translated press-artice: “What should Transcarpathians expect from newly-created State Migration Service?”

Source (in Ukrainian)

A new central body of executive power appeared a month ago – State Migration Service (SMS). It is the fifth attempt to make a separate body which would be engaged exclusively in issues of citizenship and migration. And now this newly created institution has all chances to regulate a chain of questions in the filed of migration policy and citizenship of the government.

The very first attempt of creating State Migration Service of Ukraine was done in 2007 by the Cabinet of Ministers at the head with Premier Minister V.Yanukovych. Creation of Migration Service was foreseen by the Plan of Action “Ukraine-EU” for system solution of the problems in migration policy, however, it did not proceed further than declarative statements and decisions. Repeated energetic efforts on reanimation of migration policy were done by ex-premier minister Y.Tymoshenko.

In the end, decree on necessity to create department being engaged in migration policy was confirmed by the President Viktor Yuschenko in June 2009. However, SMS of Ukraine had not started to work in a full volume – its creation was supported neither by legal nor by material basis, as well as budget financing.

Decree of Viktor Yanukovych dated from December 9, 2010 became the final stage in this process. The creation of State Migration Service of Ukraine was indicated at the present decree in the frames of optimization of central bodies which took place on April 6, 2011.

At first, appearance of new central body was disadvantageous to structures that fulfilled the functions of SMS. New body was found on the basis of State Department of Immigration and Registration of Physical Persons of MOI of Ukraine and Department on Refugee Issues of State Committee of Nationalities and Religions. Thus, these Departments are deprived at least of additional financing of work with cases on migration.  The sworn opponent as to creation of new migration service was private consortium “EDAPS” – monopolist in production and personalization of passports forms.

Secondly, SMS should also work with interior migration. At the present moment it is unknown how efficient a new department will be, but potential and field of competence of migration service are rather great.  In the comments for the newspaper “Dzerkalo Tyzhnya” Hennadiy Moskal thinking over the forming of SMS and appearance of such a resistance, told also about the tasks of the department concerning interior migration: “As soon as Migration Service comes into being it will create at once a complete and strict register of electorates and it will control it, but this things will not suit everybody. Then, there will be no such a high attendance, for example, in the western regions of Ukraine.

Let’s take, for example, Chernivtsi region. According to official data there are about 900 000 residents. About 600 000 out of them are voters. Out of them (pioneers and pensioners do not go for earnings abroad) about 350 000 stay abroad. The attendance at any elections comprises, as a rule, 95-98%.  The very departure of a citizen abroad does not give a right to exclude him out of the list of voters – he stays to be the citizen of Ukraine. State Migration Service will collect information about the persons departing to what places and when according to each village. Then Migration Service of corresponding countries will be sent inquiry as to a person interested if he/she gets new citizenship.

Receiving a reply, service will address to Central Election Commission in order to exclude citizens of other countries from the list of voters as it should be in accordance with the law. Legislation of Ukraine does not recognize dual citizenship; however, responsibility for dual citizenship is also not foreseen. It is unreal to make a person responsible who is a citizen of at least 10 countries, still not providing him/her to be registered as a nominee, not giving opportunity to vote and be a public servant – it can be… This will just be an obligatory obligation of State Migration Service.”

In other words, soon dual citizenship of Transcarpathians can leave them voting right, possibility to occupy public posts. If believing in assumption of Henadiy Moskal that migration service could receive from foreign countries inquiries concerning the new citizenship granting by Ukrainians so, probably as to “double” citizens the government will be limited by only cancellations of indicated rights above.

And the last thing is brake in the formation of valuable structure of MS – money of European Union is allotted for implementation of obligations before the European Union on Readmission which could not “part” departments. Reminding the fact that Agreement on Readmission (return of illegal migrants) concluded between Ukraine and EU on June 18, 2007 and ratified by Supreme Council in the year 2008 (which came into force on January 1, 2010) Ukraine has obliged to accept all illegal migrants who got to the countries of EU through Ukraine. It also obliged not only Ukrainians and the citizens of the third countries as well using the territory of Ukraine as a transit zone.  EU allots €30 million for building the temporary accommodation centers to keep such illegal migrants.

Ten migration camps are planned to be built in Ukraine. Four of them will be in Transcarpathia. A big centre on temporary accommodation will be built in Chop – for 66 persons. TACs should appear also in Uzhgorod, Velykyi Bereznyi and Solotvyno – for 10 persons.

The biggest migration camps for illegal migrants in Ukraine will be built in the town of Zhdaniv, Donetsk region (for 100 persons) and in the town of village type Martynivske, Mykolaiiv region (for 100 persons). In other places like Krasnodoni (Luhansk region), Smelnytsi (Lviv region), Pavlovychi (Lviv region), Sopychi (Summy region) the camps will be calculated for 10 persons each.

Regardless of EU funding of the building, the country is also responsible for keeping illegal migrants in the centre and his deportation. Deportation of one illegal migrants costs to the government more than $ 1000. The month of keeping one trespasser comprises 1000 UAH.

Meanwhile, as UNO data testify, the flow of illegal migrants in Ukraine becomes stronger and for the last ten years it has increased in 20 times. If in the past the country was looked at as temporarily asylum before “jump” to EU or Russia, so during the last years they arrive to Ukraine and settle. UNO supposes that about 7 million illegal migrants live in Ukraine at the present moment.

Most of all illegal migrants get to Ukraine from Russia, part of them from Moldova and Byelorussia. The most often are the citizens from China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia and from many other African countries.

Nowadays, situation of readmission is actually frozen: Kyiv officially succeeded to persuade EU to postpone the process of massive readmission until the year 2012 when Migration Service will be created in the country. The human rights activists hope that on this occasion they will mange to arrange statistics. Now State Committee of Nationalities and Religions fixes only the number of foreign citizens visited Ukraine in the course of a year. Last year this number excelled 21 million.

Such a statistics exists in neighbouring Russia. Readmission has already been active there since 2007 (concerning the citizens of the third countries – since the end of 2010). In the course of this period Federal Service of Migration of Russia received 5616 applications from 18 EU member states, Norway, Denmark, and in the year 2011 there were 590 out of them.

It should be pointed out that problem of migration processes regulation in Ukraine have already moved off the ground.

On May 5, 2011 the changes have come into force in the Law about regulation of migration processes and strengthening of responsibility for illegal migration.

Besides, foreigners and persons without citizenship will be rejected if they are substantially suspected in the fact that they are the bearers of infectious diseases and other illnesses (included into a special list of MHC), they enter Ukraine aiming at transit but do not have any documents and paid tickets for entering the country of destination. Furthermore, foreigners will not be let to Ukraine if there are facts of financial obligations non-implementation before Ukraine and they do not have sufficient financial provision for the period of their stay in Ukraine and return to the country of their origin.

At the same time, a ban on exclusion (other compulsory return) of the foreigner and person without citizenship is set up by adopted Law in case if possible tortures or violent treatment that humbles their dignity in the country they are deported to.

Halyna Polyanytsya, Zakarpatska Kraiina

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