Ten mainland overstayers claiming right of abode clashed with immigration officers after being refused a meeting with officials yesterday. During the scuffle, some of the mainlanders threatened to commit suicide. Calm was restored with the help of their supporter, Father Franco Mella. The 10 protesters, among at least 7,000 mainlanders in Hong Kong claiming right of abode, arrived at Immigration Tower in Wan Chai shortly before noon. They demanded to meet officials and be issued with identity cards to enable them to apply for welfare payments. Immigration officers guarded barricades placed outside lifts in the lobby. Both sides started pushing when one protester shouted he would kill himself if they could not meet officials. A chief immigration officer finally met a representative, but no identity cards were issued. Scores of police were at the scene to control crowds but did not step in during the scuffle. A police spokesman said no one was injured or arrested. Father Mella said most of the 7,000 overstayers were remaining in the SAR pending the result of test cases on right of abode. 'Some have a difficult financial situation while staying in Hong Kong without income. Some have sought financial assistance from the Social Welfare Department but do not have ID cards,' he said. Father Mella said radical protests were not encouraged, adding that this would only harm the claimants' image. He will attend a meeting with claimants tomorrow to discuss the way forward. Last month, Mr Justice Frank Stock ruled that a group of more than 5,000 migrants could not benefit from rights established in two landmark Court of Final Appeal rulings in January last year. It meant that they would need to return to the mainland to apply for right of abode.