She will say that Article 31 of the Refugee Convention was intended to apply only to migrants who arrived “directly” to a country.
The United Kingdom and the United States had interpreted this to mean that people should apply for asylum in the first safe country they reach.
“But NGOs and others, including the UN Refugee Agency, dispute this. “The status quo, where people can travel through multiple safe countries, and even reside in safe countries for years, while choosing their preferred destination to apply for asylum, is absurd and unsustainable,” he will say.
“No one entering the UK by boat from France is fleeing imminent danger. None of them have “good cause” for the illegal entry. The vast majority have passed through multiple safe countries.
“In this sense, there is an argument that they should no longer be treated as refugees when considering the legitimacy of their subsequent movement.”
‘Broken asylum system’
This argument is central to the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill, which gives ministers powers to detain migrants arriving illegally in the UK and deport them to a safe third country, such as Rwanda or their country of origin.
His speech is part of a three-day visit to meet with his American counterparts to discuss strategies to address illegal migration and organized immigration crime.
Responding to the speech, Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary, said the Government had made it harder to tackle the migration crisis alongside other countries by undermining international agreements.
She said: “The majority of people in Britain want to see strong border security and a properly managed asylum and resettlement system so that the UK does its bit to help vulnerable refugees who have fled persecution and the conflict, like the Afghan interpreters who helped our Armed Forces.
“Under the Conservatives, we have the worst of all worlds: a broken asylum system that is neither firm nor fair.”
Meanwhile, around 40 asylum seekers staged a protest against conditions at RAF Wethersfield in Essex, the converted migrant camp where they are being held.
They complained about the quality of the food, having to sleep up to three people in a room, the lack of dental care and the isolation of the base.
More than 100 migrants have been moved to the camp after arriving in the UK in small boats.