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Russia to begin aggressive police checks on immigration status of taxi drivers


Russia to begin aggressive police checks on immigration status of taxi drivers

Russian police to begin checking immigration status of taxi drivers in Moscow
Photo: Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

Russia will today begin aggressive police checks on taxi drivers in the greater Moscow metro.

To register in Moscow’s new Comprehensive Information System “Taxi Performance Analytics” (CIS “ART”) taxi drivers must be legally eligible to live and work in Russia, be over the age of 23 and have at least three years of driving experience. Today’s police checks will ensure that Moscow taxi drivers comply with the new regulations.

Although touted as a revolution to the Russian domestic taxi system, the CIS “ART” system will displace and prohibit many migrants from participating in the industry – over 40% of taxi drivers across all Russian major cities are migrants. A significant portion of migrants, who are likely illegal, do not meet the requirements for registering in the system.

Russia’s crackdown on illegal migrants, predicated on a 5% increase of crime amongst foreign citizens, is likely due to the upcoming September legislative elections. Before elections, Moscow uses crackdowns on illegal workers to boost short-term popularity for political party candidates, so a long-term shift on the Kremlin’s migration policy is unlikely. Medium-term, cracking down on illegal migration might help Putin distance himself from allegations of Russian ally Belarus weaponizing illegal immigration against Lithuania.

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