The Cloward–Piven strategy is a political strategy outlined in 1966 by American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven…
The two [sociologists Cloward and Piven] stated that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government…
Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews wrote that Cloward and Piven “proposed to create a crisis in the current welfare system – by exploiting the gap between welfare law and practice – that would ultimately bring about its collapse and replace it with a system of guaranteed annual income. They hoped to accomplish this end by informing the poor of their rights to welfare assistance, encouraging them to apply for benefits and, in effect, overloading an already overburdened bureaucracy.”
The term has come to mean something more general: precipitating a crisis in order to force a certain solution desired by the people doing the forcing. But in its original incarnation it was an example of Alinsky’s Rule number 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” Only it wasn’t just the conventional “enemy”—the right—because in the case of Cloward and Piven they were hoping to make the Democrats live up to the rules.
It’s a situation in which a group of activists exploits the protections and benefits offered by a government in order to overwhelm that system of protections by sheer numbers and the weight of defending all the claims for more benefits. Cloward and Piven were counting on this process to shame (or frighten) the powers that be into giving even more benefits. Where the money would come from was not their problem.
Now Jose de Cordoba at the WSJ describes a possible Cloward-Piven strategy (although he does not use that term) on the part of Mexico towards the US’s treatment of the illegal immigrants here [emphasis mine]:
All but one of about 50 undocumented [sic] Mexican migrants at a meeting Saturday indicated they would rather risk detention and long court battles in the U.S. than return to Mexico voluntarily.
The majority of migrants at the meeting in Phoenix, which included Mexican officials, signaled in a show of hands that they were ready to fight deportation in U.S. courts.
“Even if that means detention for weeks?” asked former foreign minister Jorge Castaneda.
“Even if it takes months,” shouted one woman. “Even if it takes years,” another yelled. “We are here to fight.”
Mr. Castaneda and others want Mexico’s government to endorse a tough and perhaps risky strategy to battle an expected increase in deportations of their undocumented compatriots in the U.S. by underwriting the migrants’ legal struggle in the U.S. court system. By overwhelming already heavily burdened immigration courts, Mr. Castaneda hopes the legal system would break down, bringing deportations to a halt.
Mexico’s government hasn’t endorsed the strategy, but President Enrique Peña Nieto recently budgeted about $50 million to the country’s 50 consulates to help pay the costs of defending migrants who are in the U.S. illegally and facing deportation.
Just about all of the articles I’ve read about the current roundup imply (or even state) that it’s an increase in the action against illegal immigrants as a result of Trump’s presidency. But guess what? Mexico says that isn’t true [emphasis mine]:
Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray said on Monday there has not been a rise yet in the number of deportations of Mexicans from the United States under President Donald Trump, but that consulates were receiving more worried phone calls.
Videgaray said in a television interview that the number of deported Mexicans was following the same trends as last year, and was even slightly lower.
He said Mexican consulates in the United States have received at least three times as many daily phone calls from worried citizens there as before news of possible ramped-up deportations under Trump.
“It’s grown exponentially,” said Videgaray, adding that people were calling with questions, complaints and worries about the process rather than because of the number of raids.
So congratulations, MSM! You have been successful in your goal of frightening people half to death about Trump. No doubt you will continue on your mission.