Plans to place migration matters under the Ministry of Internal Affairs again halted


The President has once again issued a decree suspending the force of the latest Cabinet of Ministers Resolution regarding changes to the migration service and made a submission to the Constitutional Court regarding the constitutionality of this document.

In its Resolution No. 643 from 24 June 2009, the Cabinet of Ministers passed a number of measures which mainly place migration matters within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs [MIA]. The arguments are much the same as before, i.e. that this changes the functions of the MIA linked with combating illegal immigration. The President’s Decree outlines in detail why it is asserted that the said Resolution is in breach of the Constitution. Various articles of the Constitution are cited including 92 § 1.10 which states that only laws shall stipulate the principles for regulating migration processes, as well as the law on the overall structure and numbers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The wrangle over these plans to place control for all migration matters within MIA jurisdiction has been continuing for at least a year. The MIA is firmly in favour, and would appear to have the backing of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Many doubts have, however, been raised by human rights activists who are concerned that the MIA has no experience of the non-law enforcement aspects of migration matters, and because of some, frankly hair-raising statements on the subject of immigration, made by high-ranking MIA officials.

(Halya Coynash)

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