February 13th, 2017

A little Cloward-Piven action from Mexico?

Remember Cloward-Piven?:

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.

Pure Cloward-Piven.

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.

15 Responses to “A little Cloward-Piven action from Mexico?”

  1. chuck Says:

    A bit of background from the Diplomad.

  2. Mike K Says:

    Close the 50 consulates. Turnabout is fair play.

  3. expat Says:

    Thanks for that link. Mexico is definitely a mess, but I didn’t know that it was not liked by Central American countries.

    BTW, I also read the Diplomad’s previous post on Russia. Very interesting.

  4. Montage Says:

    Yet Trump is taking credit for the status quo. Notice he had to mention his ‘very large electoral college vote’…

    “We’re getting them out, and that’s what I said I would do,” Trump said in a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau…. “I’m just doing what I said I would do when we won by a very, very large electoral college vote.”
    Trump went on to say that he had promised “to get the bad ones … and that’s exactly what we’re doing.” “I think that in the end, everyone is going to be extremely happy, and I will tell you right now, a lot of people are very, very happy right now,” he said.

    [very very….]

  5. parker Says:


    I am not a djt fan; I dislike his mannerisms and his thin skin, same as I disliked bho’s mannerisms and thin skin. Deal with it.

    Trump has suprised me in that he has choosen (mostly) competent people for his regime, and it seems he was actually sincere about his campaign rhetoric. I can’t say the same for if you like your doctor, like your insurance, and your premiums will come down by $2,500 bho. I did not like being called deplorable or a bitter clinger and yada, yada, yada for 8 years.

    But guess what? I and millions of others did not issue death threats or engage in violent riots or shit on public property. We have thicker skins and long ago stopped the 3 year old tantrums.

  6. F Says:

    I think America has less than a dozen consulates in Mexico, typically in places where there are a lot of U.S. citizens who need assistance like replacing lost passports, talking citizens through legal problems, etc. I would propose we authorize an equal number of Mexican consulates in the U.S.

    We could also tell the Mexican government we want them to issue ID cards to Mexican nationals, (all Mexican nationals already have a state issued ID card anyway) and recommend states (particular border states recognize those ID cards as necessary for issuance of a driver’s license, which would clearly be marked “valid only when accompanied by a Mexican ID card.” That way the Mexican national would have to carry his ID card and use it in conjunction with his state driver’s license, and it should tip off the Arizona/Texas/California authorities they should NOT offer motor voter documents with the issuance of the DL.

    That is not an ideal situation, of course, but that is a start on changing a broken status quo.

    I might also consider issuing a special Social Security card that is only valid when accompanied by a Mexican ID card, and up the standards of e-verify so employers would be a little more assiduous about scrutinizing SSNs.

    Again, a start on fixing a broken system. There are other fixes out there too.

  7. Jenk Says:

    Mexicans in the US already have consular photo ID cards issued to them, showing their most recently declared US address. As a welfare worker in Philadelphia I’ve seen hundreds of them. When they go to the hospital for labor and delivery they normally have passports, Mexican birth certificates and other documents. The Central Americans, not so much….

  8. Frog Says:

    Do Americans need Mexican drivers’ licenses to drive in Mex? Last time I checked, no.
    I agree there should be far fewer Mexican consulates in the US. The present number, however explained, tells us much about Les Ilegales.

    I understand Mexican consular ID cards, issued in the US, are, how shall I say, less than reliable. These cards convey an air of legitimacy which is often false and thus fraudulent. An illegal walks into a Mexican consulate, states his name and current address, and walks out with an “official” card with his face on it. Snap! Nothing to it. Now he is legal?
    Are you in the business of helping create anchor babies to suckle at the welfare teat? More “clients”?

  9. F Says:


    My daughter, who is a resident in Mexico, tells me she has to have a locally-issued driver’s license to drive there. Perhaps because she is resident — I don’t know. I do know that tourists do not need a locally-issued license to drive in Mexico, but perhaps that is for a limited time or for rental cars or something. She tells me an international DL is only valid in Mexico for a limited time.

    My point, though, is that driver’s licenses in the US are typically used for a variety of purposes that require an ID — renting something (apartment, tools, cars, etc.) Which means someone wanting to engage in economic activity in the US frequently applies for and uses a DL to do that. And, of course, to drive a vehicle. And a number of states now issue driver’s licenses so people can drive and engage in economic activity, and that issuance frequently triggers a motor voter registration to vote.

    What I propose is that states issuing licenses to immigrants who do not have a green card issue a license that says it is only valid when accompanied by an ID card. That is not a difficult thing to do: my FAA-issued pilot’s certificate is only valid when accompanied with some form of photo ID — usually a driver’s license.

    Issuing a DL that does not trigger a motor voter registration strikes me as a desirable outcome. In fact issuing a DL that is flagged as belonging to someone who is neither a citizen nor a green card holder would have a variety of desirable outcomes, I think. CA would likely resist, and perhaps even AZ and my own state of NV. But it would be a state-by-state matter anyway.

    As it is right now, a DL is frequently interpreted as meaning the holder is legal to work, engage in economic activity that they might not be entitled to, and (obviously) to drive. Why not make it clear on the DL that the holder is not a citizen or permanent resident? Most states already flag holders who are under 21 so they have a harder time buying alcohol. I’m suggesting this be expanded. And I have no doubt I will be criticized for discriminating against foreigners.

  10. parker Says:

    In my world, Mexico and every other nation (failed or otherwise) gets one consulate in DC. Same goes for the USA, one consulate per foreign nation. Meanwhile the UN is kicked out by gun point and we ask other nations that respect human rights per our Bill of Rights to form a new internaltional organization that promotes life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and property rights. And if your nation does not proscribe to our 2nd Amendment you are not welcome.

    Yes, I know adherence to our 2nd Amendment is off putting to many nations who might join a new international organization. But that simply means they do not adhere to the concept of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, and the right to defend the preceding foundations of a government that is founded upon the premise that we the people are sovereign.

  11. F Says:


    Typically, a country with only one diplomatic facility would staff it at the top level with an ambassador and call it an embassy.

    Consulates are staffed at the top by a Consul-general or Consul (depends on the rank of the facility) and they offer only consular services: issuing passports and visas, taking care of citizens who need help, repatriating dead citizens — things like that.

    This is not to disagree with your suggestion. Just to point out if we maintain only one facility in a country (and this is common) it would probably be an embassy. Not always, but usually.

  12. Chester Draws Says:


    I presume you have never travelled.

    A British citizen in LA has his passport and money stolen and he has to go to DC for help? How, without money?

    Countries exist to HELP their citizens. Mexico has lots of consulates indicates a good thing — they are helping their citizens. After all Mexico’s first duty is to Mexicans, no matter how much that irks you. (Quite a few Americans have this idea that Mexico should solve the US’s problems.)

    If the US closes consulates, then others will respond. And Americans abroad would be badly affected.

    Trump wants people travelling to to the US to get visas. How are they to do that with no US consulates?

  13. Yancey Ward Says:

    Trump is basically in the position of Brer’ Rabbit here.

  14. CW Says:

    I don’t understand why anyone who is in the U.S. illegally has any standing with our courts with respect to deportation. Does congress need to pass a law that says the deportation of a non-citizen is not reveiwable by the courts? If that’s what it takes, then that’s what congress should do. Enough is enough.

  15. Big Maq Says:

    “Issuing a DL that does not trigger a motor voter registration strikes me as a desirable outcome.” – F

    To the extent this happens, absolutely agree.

    If the states cannot clear out dead people from their voter rolls, then fat chance something like this will be implemented.

    The fact that voter rolls (in the hands of the state and local governments) are in such poor shape is the first thing to address.

    And, citizenship verification ought to be a key part of that cleanup process. The time for just taking someone’s “word” for it (on the day of voting) has long passed.

    Wasn’t it in Texas someone was recently convicted of unlawfully voting in more than one election cycle?


    A state that has been in GOP hands for some time.

    So either they believe voter fraud is not a big deal, or they don’t really care (because the fraud goes both ways?).

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

Monthly Archives


Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge