Did Sanders support Minutemen ‘vigilantes’ on immigration?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused her rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders of supporting legislation which backed a civilian group in its efforts to curb illegal immigration.

The remarks came during the Democratic debate in Miami Wednesday night, when the former secretary of state said Sanders “sided with those Republicans to stand with vigilantes known as Minutemen who were taking up outposts along the border to hunt down immigrants.” 

Sanders fired back, saying he has never supported vigilantes and that there was a piece of legislation that amended the language of an existing law and that Clinton was cherry-picking to attack him.

What the secretary is doing tonight and has done very often is take large pieces of legislation and take pieces out of it,” Sanders said.

The event was co-hosted by Univision and the Washington Post, which provided fact-checking of several issues raised, including immigration in the U.S. The newspaper found that Sanders did, in fact, support an amendment barring the Department of Homeland Security from proving information to foreign governments “relating to the activities of an organized volunteer civilian action group, operating in the State of California, Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona,” the Post reported.     

The piece of legislation came in 2006, while Sanders was running for Senate, and after rumor spread of the U.S. government feeding Mexico information about the locations of Minutemen patrols.