About 10,000 people in Shenzhen have applied to settle in Hong Kong, the city's Mayor Li Zibin said yesterday. He said the Hong Kong immigrant quota issued would not be able to meet the huge demand. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Mr Li denied there had been a wave of illegal immigrants from Shenzhen. He said those who came to the territory, particularly children, had the right of abode in the territory. 'The Basic Law guarantees these people right of abode in Hong Kong. It's just that the immigration quota cannot cope with the demand,' Mr Li said. 'For instance, the daily [one-way permit] quota given to Shenzhen is just one, while about 10,000 have applied. 'There is no wave of illegal immigration at present and there won't be a problem in the future. Our living standards have been improving,' Mr Li said, adding that Hong Kong snakeheads were responsible for the smuggling of mainlanders. 'If there weren't these snakeheads, how could these people cross the border? They don't even know the way. But I don't rule out there may be some local gangsters linking up with them to smuggle the mainlanders,' Mr Li said. He urged the Hong Kong Government to crack down on local snakeheads. Vice-director of Shenzhen Public Security Bureau Sun Biao said Shenzhen had arrested only '200 people trying to smuggle themselves across the border since the beginning of the year'.