"We will reduce immigration overall while being more open and flexible to the highly skilled people we need, such as scientists and doctors", the BBC reported on Thursday citing Patel as saying in a party statement on Wednesday.
The party said that net migration (immigration minus emigration) could rise from its current annual rate of about 220,000 to 840,000 people a year.
'This methodology that phases of accumulate migration would more than treble if Labour introduced their proposals for fully delivery borders'.
Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote to her Labour opposite number demanding Labour comes clean about its plans.
Patel said: "Under Corbyn's Labour, immigration would surge, and put huge strain on schools and our NHS".
However, ministers also made clear they were abandoning the party's long-standing commitment to get net migration down below 100,000 a year - a target they have never met.
Ana Oppenheim, a spokesperson for the Labour Campaign for Free Movement, said: "The formulation of "defend and extend" captures our position well - that we can not give an inch to any attacks on existing migrants' rights, and that, in principle, we want to expand free movement beyond Europe's borders. That's let people down", he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
While the Tories have been committed to the introduction of an Australian-style points-based system since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in July, ministers have consistently refused to say whether that would mean cutting immigration levels.
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"I recognise that people, including myself when I was immigration minister, have talked about reducing migration and net migration for years; we've not done that". Under our current immigration system, we are turning down highly skilled people from around the world in favour of unskilled people from the European Union, because we can't control the numbers coming from the European Union and we are turning away people from the rest of the world to bring numbers down.
"We therefore protect wages and we also make sure that companies in this country, business in this country, invest in the skills of young people growing up in this country", he said.
In an interview in The Guardian ahead of Labour's crucial meeting this weekend to agree its manifesto, Mr McCluskey said it was wrong to have a policy of free movement without stricter labour market regulation.
Undertaken by ComRes for British newspaper the Daily Telegraph, with less than a month to go until polling day the polling data suggests 43 per cent of voters in the so-called "DE" social groups - working class and unemployed - would vote for the Conservative Party.
Labour branded Tory claims "fake news".
Yesterday a senior Labour frontbencher admitted the party will "extend" freedom of movement rights if it wins the election as a furious civil war broke out over its immigration policy.
"They'd rather risk not winning the election than having a Leave majority, a Leave alliance".