In view of recent news reports indicating that the connection between America's incoming president, Donald Trump, and Russia's dictator, President Vladimir Putin, may be even closer than previously thought, see:

it is instructive to take a overview of Russia's immigration policies as a possible guide to what might be in store for immigrants in America under the Trump administration.

While this may not necessarily be totally up to date, as it appeared in 2013, an article published by the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI), which appears to be an authoritative, though evidently independent (judging from some of its criticism of Putin's policies - see below) source of information about legal developments in Russia, provides some useful insights into immigration policies in Vladimir Putin's Russia today.

The article, dated August 19, 2013, is entitled: Russia's New Migration Policy

According to RAPSI, there are three main elements to the "massive reforms" in immigration which were announced by Putin leading up to the 2013 elections.

These are:

1) Immigration document checks,

2) A network of holding centers for immigrants awaiting deportation


3) Employer sanctions for those hiring immigrants illegally.

RAPSI reports that with regard to the first feature, checking immigrants' legal documents:

"Migrants in Russia are being subjected to legal checks on a mass scale in Moscow and other regions."

Of course, America has already led the way in this advanced innovation, with Sheriff Joe Arpaio's raids and roundups of Latino immigrants under Arizona's SB 1070 law, before most of that law was thrown out by the US Supreme Court in 2012 (and Sheriff Joe himself was thrown out by the voters in this year's election).

But Russia is already planning to so this nationwide. Certainly, Donald Trump would not want to let himself be outdone by Vladimir Putin.

With regard to the second feature, RAPSI advises:

"In a total of 81 cities, 83 holding centers for deportable migrants should start operating soon. One such center was already established in Moscow shortly after the police beating incident.

This would, one could argue, represent a considerable humanitarian advance from the Soviet era, when people whom the government didn't want around in society were sent to a network of gulags in far off Siberia and other remote areas.

Now, it appears, every major city in Russia will have its own immigrant detention center located close by. Perhaps President Trump, taking a cue from President Putin, might wish to make sure that each American city will have its own immigrant detention camp as well, rather than relying on just a handful of remote locations as is the case now.

This would certainly be a boon to the private prison industry and would be consistent with Trump's promise to create more American jobs. It would also be a useful antidote to the Sanctuary Cities movement.

The Trump administration might even want to consider making these immigrant detention camps into tourist attractions, so that people can see for themselves what happens to immigrants who violate our laws - and to Americans who help them - who might well usefully be sent to the camps themselves - after all, don't we have Senator Jeff Sessions as our incoming Attorney General, and is INA Section 274, which makes it a crime to "harbor" or "assist" an unauthorized immigrant, not already on the books and waiting to be enforced?

Why should Vladimir Putin be allowed to win the prize for locking up the most immigrants (or immigrant-lovers too -see below)? Let's Make America Great Again!

In a further example of how Russia may be adopting a "Made in America" immigration policy, but on a much larger scale, and in a throwback to measures that were initially proposed in Hazelton PA, and championed by Republican Congressman Lou Barletta (who was reportedly once under consideration by Trump for the Secretary of Labor Poat before Trump finally chose someone with a more immigrant friendly reputation - fast food CEO Andrew Puzder) RAPSI reports:

"[Putin's] bill requires property owners to report any unregistered person living in the premises. In this case there is no distinction between foreigners and Russian nationals. The bill further permits the authorities to deport Russian nationals that are unregistered in the city they're presently residing in. For instance, if a man from the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala were to live and work in Moscow without proper registration, he could be placed in a deportation center pending being shipped back to Makhachkala, the place where he is properly registered.

Quite possibly
Russia might slide back to the notorious 'propiska' system of the Soviet times."

To be continued in Part 2.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, Roger has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger believes that there is an unbreakable connection between protecting immigrants of all backgrounds and nationalities from discrimination and persecution, and preserving freedom and democracy for American citizens. His email address is