Religious and human rights groups have warned they will act to prevent mainland-born children fighting for right of abode from being forcibly deported. They are seeking support from more than 500 overseas Catholic and human rights associations to fight against the deportation of the 1,400 mainland children if the court rules they do not have the right to stay here. They will also seek support from the Hong Kong Catholic Church which backed the two-day sit-in against deportation by 70 illegal mainland mothers at the Catholic Cathedral, Caine Road, in January 1988. The groups issued a statement hitting out at revised laws which require the mainland children born to Hong Kong parents to have a certificate of entitlements before they can settle in the SAR. The families of more than 1,000 mainland children have applied for legal aid to challenge the new law which they say breaches the Basic Law. Project Officer Tam Chun-yin from the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese warned against any inhumane deportation tactics. 'The supporting groups may take action against the deportation of the children. We are planning to discuss how to help prevent these children from facing any strong-arm deportation as happened in the case of Chung Yeuk-lam,' he said. Immigration officers have been under fire after Yeuk-lam, eight, and her handcuffed mother Chung Chau Chuk-ngan, 35, were dragged from their Shau Kei Wan flat and deported to the mainland on April 22. Representatives of the groups met Assistant Director of Immigration Mak Kwai-yan and Principal Immigration Officer Leung Ping-kwan yesterday. Mr Tam said the immigration officers promised they would not deport the children who had applied for legal aid until a court ruling was made and would pass on calls for an increase in daily one-way permits.