Macau is facing an influx of 20,000 mainland children whose parents are permanent residents. But the new arrivals will not spark the legal controversy that hit Hong Kong last year, because Macau's Basic Law restricts right of abode to children born after their parents became permanent residents. Hong Kong's Basic Law states - less clearly - that children 'born of' permanent residents have right of abode, leading to a series of legal challenges. The situation in Hong Kong is now the same as Macau after the National People's Congress reinterpreted the Basic Law. Macau's Identification Services Department chief Lai Ieng-kit said the children would be let in at the rate of 420 a month over the next four years. He said the scheme aimed to re-unite families and would be carried out in close co-operation with the Immigration Department and the mainland's Public Security Bureau. Mr Lai said there would also be schemes giving priority to younger children and to those whose parents were both living in Macau.