Moves were under way yesterday to defuse a looming illegal immigrant crisis. In a double assault on fears of a post-handover illegal immigrant flood, plans emerged in Beijing and Hong Kong that would see more mainlanders allowed to settle in the territory. Xu Ganlu, director of the Public Security Ministry's exit and entry bureau, said it was considering an increased daily quota of mainlanders under the one-way permit system. Meanwhile, a Security Branch paper to go before the Legislative Council today reveals that local and mainland officials are also seeking ways to make the system more equitable. The action has been prompted by a recent influx of child illegal immigrants, many with post-handover right of abode, who are trying to jump the administrative queue to settle here. Hong Kong estimates that 35,000 eligible children will still be in China on July 1, although Guangdong officials said last week that an additional 42,000 claims were being checked. Asked if the daily immigration quota of 150 would increase, Mr Xu said: 'It will, but we must first decide what is in the best interests of Hong Kong and what it can absorb. 'In accordance with the Basic Law, we will consult the SAR government and decide the number of people who can settle.' The Security Branch proposals are believed to be designed to ensure a fairer distribution of permits to persuade parents to use legal channels. Its paper says: 'We are working with the Chinese Government to look for ways to improve the one-way permit system. 'We understand the Chinese authorities are also making efforts to improve the fairness of the system.' It is believed the Security Branch wants the process to be made more transparent so parents can track the progress of their applications and not be tempted to resort to illegal means to settle their children. Currently, 150 people enter the territory from China each day on one-way visas, including 66 children of permanent Hong Kong residents. Mainland officials said last week that priority would be given to children whose parents were in Hong Kong or whose mother or father had already been granted a one-way permit.