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A migrant worker takes a break from work at a timber-processing plant in Chita earlier this month (ITAR-TASS)
November 20, 2006 -- The deputy director of Russia's Federal Migration Service, Vyacheslav Postavnin, today defended the recent government crackdown on migrant laborers.
He said an estimated 10 million to 12 million migrants are now in Russia -- 90 percent of them illegally.
Postavnin said illegal migration is a burden on the economy and fans interethnic conflict.
He said most migrants come from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, and Ukraine, as well as from China, Turkey, and Vietnam.