Hong Kong stems immigrant flood

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The Independent Online
THE HONG Kong government breathed a sigh of relief yesterday when a court finally gave it some support in its attempts to hold back a flood of immigrants from the Chinese mainland.

The administration fears that a decision last month by the Court of Final Appeal opened the door to as many as a million people on the mainland who have the right to live in Hong Kong because one of their parents is a local resident. Yesterday, however, an application by a group of would- be migrants was rejected by a lower court, with the judge saying the unrestricted entry of so many immigrants would create an "unbearable burden" that could "sink Hong Kong".

Regina Ip, Hong Kong's Secretary for Security, was jubilant. She said the court had given the government the authority to deport the mainlanders and urged the rest to go home.

Up to 1,000 people are immediately affected by the ruling, many of whom face arrest if they return to the mainland.