Beijing yesterday expressed reservations about increasing the number of mainland migrant children allowed into Hong Kong each day. The Public Security Ministry said further talks would be needed to consider the Immigration Department's proposal to increase the number from 66 to 90 of the 150 daily quota for one-way permits. The bureau said the increase would mean a delay for the 27,000 wives of Hong Kong residents waiting in Guangdong and at least 20,000 other spouses, mostly wives, in the rest of China. After meeting Exit and Entry Administration Bureau director Xu Ganlu yesterday, Immigration Director Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said: 'People, mostly women who have been separated from their spouses for not less than five years, already amount to more than 50,000 across the country. 'If the quota is to be increased for kids, other categories would inevitably be taken up.' But she said the Public Security Ministry had reiterated its support for issuing certificates of entitlement to children eligible to live in Hong Kong. And 500 certificates had been given to the mainland and another 2,000 had been approved. 'The first batch of children carrying such permits with the certificates are expected to arrive in Hong Kong early next month,' Ms Ip said. The Immigration Department proposed raising the quota after thousands of mainland-born children came illegally to Hong Kong to claim residency after the handover. The SAR Government says the children must be repatriated before applying to return. So far, 663 applications have been made on behalf of illegal migrant children for legal aid to challenge the new immigration law. Legal aid has been granted in 68 cases and refused in two.