Julián Castro, Bernie Sanders and the Minutemen ‘hate group’

San Antonio mayor Julian Castro gives the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
San Antonio mayor Julian Castro gives the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

By Julián Castro’s account, Bernie Sanders once voted to protect a "hate group."

Piping up on behalf of Hillary Clinton for president, the Housing & Urban Development secretary and former mayor of San Antonio took aim at Bernie Sanders’ record on immigration during the senator’s former elected capacity as an Independent member of the U.S. House from 1991 to 2007.

Sanders "voted with Republicans to protect the Minutemen, a hate group that used military tactics against our community," Castro said in a statement rolled out by the Clinton camp March 8, the day that Sen. Sanders of Vermont won an upset victory in the party’s Michigan presidential primary.

Filipa Ioannou of the San Antonio Express-News dug into that, confirming that Sanders voted for a 2006 House amendment barring U.S. authorities from tipping off Mexico to the movements of members of the Minutemen, which at the time consisted of individuals bird-dogging the Mexico border out of concern too many people were slipping into the U.S.

But the Minuteman Project and Minuteman Civil Defense Corps websites in 2005 and 2006 explicitly described their cause as "peaceful" and urged members to follow the letter of the law while patrolling the border, or risk discrediting their cause. We didn’t spot any sign of any determination that the group ever proved out to be among "hate groups," which the Southern Poverty Law Center defines as having "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics."

On balance, we found Castro’s claim Half True.

Read the full fact-check here.

See Julián Castro’s Truth-O-Meter report card.

What else?