The Home Secretary has questioned whether migrants using dinghys and small boats to cross the English Channel are "genuine" asylum seekers.
Sajid Javid made the comments during a visit to Dover, where a number of migrants have landed after travelling across the Channel from France.
Speaking during his visit, Mr Javid said he questioned why people attempting the risky journey had not sought asylum in the first safe country they entered.
"A question has to be asked: if you are a genuine asylum seeker why have you not sought asylum in the first safe country that you arrived in?," he said.
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"Because France is not a country where anyone would argue it is not safe in anyway whatsoever, and if you are genuine then why not seek asylum in your first safe country?".
In December, Mr Javid announced that two more Border Force cutters will patrol the Channel after a spate of migrants risked the crossing over Christmas.
He also cut short a family holiday to South Africa to take control of the situation, describing it as a "major incident".
Mr Javid told reporters today that 539 people had crossed the Channel in 2018, with 80 per cent making the journey in the last three months of the year.