Home Secretary John Reid is set to announce plans for Britain's first uniformed border-control force at airports and ports.
They will be part of a massive shake-up of the beleaguered Immigration and Nationality Directorate that will be announced tomorrow. The IND will see its budget double to £280 million by the end of the decade as part of an effort to get a grip on the problem of illegal immigration.
And the Home Office is looking at opportunities for commissioning, contracting out and outsourcing certain activities in the hope that private sector input will improve the efficiency of the service. The plans emerged as an influential parliamentary committee denounced the IND's enforcement of immigration law as "clearly inadequate".
The cross-party House of Commons Home Affairs Committee blamed the immigration crisis on a "failure of successive governments".
It urged Ministers to create an independent immigration inspectorate with its own Commons committee to monitor progress, and warned that an amnesty for illegal immigrants would be neither "appropriate or helpful".
The committee found that more than 700 charges of corruption had been levelled against immigration staff in one year, leading to 409 investigations, 31 employees being referred for prosecution and 79 for disciplinary action.
"Public confidence in immigration control demands the highest levels of integrity from those operating it," said the report.
"Managers... must take an active role in ensuring that their staff are not acting corruptly or improperly."
Tomorrow's overhaul of the IND, detailed in a document entitled Rebuilding Confidence in our Immigration System, comes a week on from Mr Reid's top-to-bottom shake-up of the Home Office, which he branded "not fit for purpose".
Ministers believe that putting passport control officers, who currently work in plain clothes, into uniform will have a deterrent affect on would-be illegal immigrants.
Consultation is ongoing with immigration officers about what the new uniforms should look like.
Meanwhile, uniformed enforcement officers will concentrate on companies employing illegal immigrants, with increased penalties for transgressors.
Mr Reid is also expected to announce details of a new attempt to speed the deportation of more than 10,000 foreign nationals held in British jails.