Illegal immigrant children should continue to be repatriated after July 1 even if they were entitled to residency, Guangdong security officials said yesterday. Children should go through official channels and join the queue, said Guangdong Public Security Bureau's vice-director, Wang Yinggang. Guangdong and Hong Kong security officials met at the weekend to discuss the recent influx of young illegals, sources said. Some 34,000 mainland children whose parents are in Hong Kong have the right to residency under the Basic Law after July 1. The statement was an attempt to halt the surge, sparked by parents' beliefs that the children would be allowed to stay even if they arrived illegally. The Security Branch said illegal immigrants' post-handover status would not be considered and all would be repatriated. 'Parents should not risk the lives of their children,' a spokesman said. But some social workers said children's status of permanent residency should override how they arrived in Hong Kong. Zachary Wong Wai-yin, a Democratic Party legislator, said the Guangdong authorities were addressing the wrong question. 'They are trying to evade the problems of corruption and bureaucracy. The influx of illegal child migrants has nothing to do with lax border patrols. 'They choose to risk their lives because they cannot bear the corruption and red tape.' Many parents say Guangdong officials have to be bribed to approve a one-way permit for their children. Sze Lai-shan, of the New Migrants Mutual Aid Society, demanded a waiting list be drawn up. 'What we need is a way to ensure orderly immigration of the mainland-born children. The future Special Administrative Region government should be allowed a say in screening the applications to minimise chances of corruption by Chinese officials,' she said. The one-way permit quota was increased to 150 on July 1, 1995, with 66 places for children who would have the right of abode in Hong Kong on July 1, 1997. The number of children caught illegally entering was 754 last year. About 1,100 have been caught this year.