stick it to middle-class families

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Stephen Schmidt

Senior Member
I know some worry immigration will change the very fabric of who we are,
or take our jobs, or stick it to middle-class families at a time they already
feel they’ve gotten a raw deal for over a decade. I hear those concerns,
but that’s not what these steps would do.
Hi everyone:
This quotation is from Obama's speech on immigration in 2014. What does bolded "it" stand for?
Does it stand for immigration?
  • miba54

    Senior Member
    English - British
    It doesn't refer to anything. "To stick it to someone" is an expression. It means "to treat someone badly or unfairly".
    In this case it means:
    "...some people worry that immigration will work against the interests of middle-class families..."
    "...some people worry that immigration will hurt/damage middle-class families..."


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with miba54, but would add that "To stick it to someone" has the implication of treating someone badly or unfairly
    (i) in an arbitrary manner and/or
    (ii) with a general lack of concern for their welfare and/or
    (iii) in a manner that is disproportional to their perceived offence.
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