Speaking on Eyewitness Newsmakers, Schiff said it is not unprecedented to use the National Guard at the border, but illegal immigration is at its lowest point since 1971, and the president is ordering the deployment to the border, "and then coming up with a reason for it." Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said there has been an uptick in illegal immigration, and the administration wants to stop the momentum.
Schiff repeated vows to find protection for so-called DREAMers - young immigrants protected by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The president has declared the act is dead. The congressman believes there is bipartisan support in Congress for DACA if only a simple measure can go up for a vote, presumably one with no ties to border wall funding.
The congressman said the president is vindictive, targeting California on issues such as the census. By asking a citizenship question, Schiff said the count will be suppressed by immigrants too fearful to participate. The state could lose representation and federal funding. The census mandates that all residents be counted; legal or illegal. Schiff said the EPA's move to weaken air standards and the federal plan to do away with state tax deduction targets a state that did not support the president.
MORE: California sues Trump administration over citizenship question on 2020 Census
The congressman was instrumental in the bipartisan effort to restore funding for the west coast Earthquake Early Warning System. The $23 million will help complete the system in about two years, with some sections rolling out by this fall. This week's 5.3-magnitude Channel Islands earthquake was the largest in several years, serving as a reminder that a system giving even a minute's warning could save lives.
Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said while committee Republicans have dropped the Russia probe, Democrats have not; testimony on Cambridge Analytica and Facebook is coming up. He was critical of the State Department's slow release of $40 million to counter Russian interference in the 2018 election. He said former FBI Director James Comey testified the Russians would be back after the 2016 election.
"They never left," Schiff said.