Mainland wives said the decision to allow thousands of children to come to Hong Kong would damage families. The court ruling ignored mothers and would leave youngsters home alone. 'Once they start allowing illegitimate children in, people like me will have to wait another 10 years,' said a mainland wife who has been waiting for nearly 10 years to move to Hong Kong. 'This will only encourage more men to find mistresses across the border because now they can bring the offspring to Hong Kong,' she predicted. A maximum of 150 mainlanders are allowed to immigrate each day, with 60 spaces reserved for children, 60 for those with sick elderly parents or an inheritance to receive, and only 30 for wives. The new ruling states that all children have an equal chance, with no indication that those who had waited the longest could go first. Mainland wives believe they should get higher priority or be allowed to immigrate with their children. Mrs Mok, whose seven-year-old son is living in Hong Kong with her husband, applied 10 years ago, but was told by mainland officials yesterday that she must wait another three years. 'This new immigration policy won't help families if you just let the kids go and not the mothers,' she said. 'There will be many problems if thousands of children go without their mums. With the father busy working, the child will be left home alone. He can easily get hurt or join the wrong crowd.' She is among a group of 20 wives planning to stage a protest to highlight the problem of split families when they go to Hong Kong on two-way permits next month. Despite hints the daily quota will be increased, they fear the Hong Kong and mainland governments will continue to neglect wives. Another woman in the group brought her eight-year-old son back from Hong Kong because there was no one to take care of him. 'My husband works in a restaurant 14 hours a day. He doesn't get home until midnight,' said the woman. 'I brought my son back when I heard about the little girl who fell out of the window and died because her mother was stuck in the mainland and couldn't look after her. 'Must the two governments wait until someone dies before allowing families to unite? Has [Secretary for Security] Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee considered this?' A woman whose 10-year-old son has waited since birth to go to Hong Kong said she feared his wait would be stretched with more people qualifying to immigrate. She is considering paying a 'snakehead' $5,000 to smuggle him into Hong Kong. 'I know it's risky. They don't even have life jackets on the boats. But he's a legitimate child with the right of abode. Why should he wait another few years?'