MOSCOW, February 20 - RAPSI. Muhammad Amin Majumder, chief of Russia's Federation of Migrants, has sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin on behalf of all foreign workers asking him to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, writes Izvestia newspaper.

Majumder writes that there are around 10 million immigrants working illegally in Russia, but that they could be bringing in revenue for the Russian economy. The best solution in this situation is to grant amnesty to all illegal immigrants, Majumder writes, adding that this would benefit the country.

In his opinion, immigrants "are ready to pay taxes and to respect Russian laws and traditions." Moreover, the shortfall of the Russian budget "due to the shadow economy and the growing level of illegal immigration runs into several billion rubles every year."

MP Dmitry Sablin agrees that labor immigrants should be granted amnesty.

Expert Vyacheslav Postavnin said that in the United States, Spain, Italy, Germany and France it was not uncommon to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and this practice has led to positive results.

However, expert Yury Krupnov argues that "these kinds of steps will only maintain and even encourage illegal immigration, instead of fighting it."

Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said he had not yet seen the letter, hence he could not comment on it.

The Federal Migration Service also declined to comment, saying that they had not yet seen a copy of Majumder's letter.