Ed Miliband will call for minimum wage rules to be more strictly enforced today as a method of cracking down on low-skilled immigration, after the government ramped up its rhetoric by warning of a Romanian and Bulgarian migrant "crisis".
In a party political video set to be broadcast this evening, Miliband will say Labour "got things wrong" while in government by failing to restrict immigration from eastern Europe during its time in power.
"Low-skill migration has been too high and we need to bring it down," he will say. "That means the maximum transitional controls for new countries coming in from Eastern Europe; it means properly enforcing the minimum wage so people aren’t brought here to undercut workers already here; and it means let’s give proper training to workers already here so that they have a fighting chance of filling the vacancies that exist."
As all three main political parties grapple with the Ukip surge in last week's Eastleigh by-election, Miliband will tell voters it is "not prejudiced" to worry about immigration.
The Labour leader will also repeat the suggestion that people should be banned from taking public sector jobs unless they can speak English. He will say recruitment agencies should be banned from excluding people from jobs if they are British.
Yesterday Iain Duncan Smith raised the stakes by telling MPs there was a looming "crisis" over the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who would want to move to the UK after internal EU restrictions on movement were lifted in 2014.
Miliband's broadcast will be followed up on Thursday by shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper, who will deliver a high-profile speech setting out Labour's new approach to securing Britain's borders.
Over the weekend, Labour frontbencher Diane Abbott warned her party not to "spiral downwards" by lurching to the right on immigration in response to Ukip.