About 300 mainlanders claiming right of abode staged a rally at Immigration Department offices in Wan Chai yesterday, demanding an end to repatriation while court cases are pending. The group gathered at Government Pier before meeting officials. Representative Ada Fu Jiahui said migrants should be allowed to stay until a ruling was delivered. 'We are advising everyone not to sign any form, or the department will take advantage and send us back,' she said. 'Signing the forms could relinquish our legal rights in the territory.' Father Franco Mella, a spokesman for the migrants, met department officials and called for the release of three mainlanders from Victoria Prison. The department said officials had promised not to repatriate only those directly involved in court proceedings - not the 5,400 others who might be affected by a final ruling. 'Decisions on those several thousands who might be affected by any court decision will be made on a case-by-case basis. There is no promise they will not be sent back in the meantime,' a department spokesman said. He said officers did not need migrants to sign repatriation orders to send them back. The Government has in the past month won three Court of First Instance cases on the right of abode issue, involving the 5,400 claimants. It is expected that the issues raised by these cases will be the subject of appeals, although it is not clear how many appellants will be involved. In January last year, the Court of Final Appeal ruled that mainlanders with a parent who was a permanent SAR resident qualified for right of abode, but this was overturned by the National People's Congress Standing Committee in June last year. The Standing Committee ruled that only mainlanders with a parent who was a permanent resident at the time of their birth were eligible. About 47,000 mainlanders claiming right of abode arrived in the SAR during the period between the handover and the reinterpretation. A further 20,000 mainlanders came to Hong Kong after the reinterpretation.