“In France, the right to asylum is unconditional, it is constitutional, and we have a duty to take in people whose lives would be at risk if they were forced to return home.
“That said, people who are not eligible for asylum must be dealt with as quickly as possible and sent back to their home countries as quickly as possible.”
Mr Macron warned the unprecedented migration crisis is several years old now, and shows no sign of abating.
The controversial new bill, which was presented to parliament in February, was designed to accelerate asylum procedures, improve conditions in migrant reception centres, and speed up deportations.
The new rules will also make it easier for child migrants to be granted asylum and halve the time it takes for authorities to process an asylum request from 12 to six months.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has repeatedly argued that the new law is “balanced” and that France would continue to attract refugees put off by the tougher immigration and asylum rules elsewhere in Europe if it did not move to harden its own laws.
“If we don’t take this into account, we won’t be able, tomorrow, to guarantee the right to asylum in France,” he told a press conference in February.
In January, the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) said that more than 100,000 people had applied for asylum in France in 2017, a “record” number and an increase of 17 per cent on the year before.
Border police officials, for their part, said that an estimated 85,000 migrants had been stopped from entering France in 2017.
Mr Macron was speaking to journalists Edwy Plenel of the investigative website Mediapart and Jean-Jacques Bourdin of RMC radio in an interview to mark his first year in office broadcast by the news channel BFM TV.