What they've done...is...

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OED Loves Me Not

Senior Member
Japanese - Osaka
Hello, friends. Could anyone please read the following and tell me
what it means and what its grammatical construction is?

“What they’ve done with taking [immigration] and making it red meat
for the politicians is made that steep hill we have to climb that much worse.”
SpaceX has plans for Texas – but border wall could be barrier to progress

Here's what I think:

(1) What they’ve done with taking [immigration] and making it red meat for the politicians

This long phrase is the subject of the whole sentence.

(2) is made that steep hill we have to climb that much worse.

The first word "is" is a typo for "has." This phrase (2) is the verb (verbal phrase)
of the whole sentence.


(1-a) What they’ve done with taking [immigration] and making it red meat for the politicians

"taking immigration and making it red meat for the politicians" means
"making immigration red meat for the politicians," which in turn means
something along the lines of "making immigration a source of profits or benefits
for the politicians."

(2-a) has made that steep hill we have to climb that much worse.

The phrase "that steep hill [that] we have to climb" refers to the very high hill
near where the speaker lives and which illegal immigrants had to climb
before they could get into the United States.


(3) Therefore, the whole sentence means something along the lines of:

What they've done with making immigration beneficial to the politicians

has made that steep hill (that illegal immigrants have to climb) that much harder to climb.
or
Because they've done something that has made immigration beneficial to the politicians,

that steep hill (that illegal immigrants have to climb) has become even harder to climb.

Am I correct? Could anyone please paraphrase it into a straightforward sentence?

Thank you very much for your time.
 
Last edited:
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    :warning:Link is not to the article!

    Surely 'the steep hill' (below) is a metaphor for the great difficulties people wishing to immigrate have to overcome?

    "that steep hill [that] we have to climb" refers to the very high hill
    near where the speaker lives and which illegal immigrants had to climb
    before they could get into the United States.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I think this is correct:

    "taking immigration and making it red meat for the politicians" means "making immigration red meat for the politicians," which in turn means something along the lines of "making immigration a source of profits or benefits for the politicians."


    However you have to read the sentence this way, I think:

    "What they’ve done ....... is made that steep hill we have to climb that much worse".

    As for 'high hills':
    The phrase "that steep hill [that] we have to climb" refers to the very high hill near where the speaker lives and which illegal immigrants had to climb before they could get into the United States.

    I think this is a metaphor. Brownsville is flat, as far as I can see.
     
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