Mass. Lawmaker: Welfare Benefits to Tsarnaevs Add 'Insult to Injury'

Thursday, 02 May 2013 12:34 PM

By Kenneth Hanner

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Reports that the family of the Boston terror suspects received extensive welfare benefits has inflamed taxpayers in Massachusetts, according to Republican state Rep. David Linsky.

"The taxpayers in Massachusetts are furious at this," Linsky said. "It is literally adding insult to injury here about this family and the types of benefits they were getting, given the fact that two people are charged with absolutely horrific, horrific crimes."

Reports surfaced last week that the Boston terror suspects and their family received more than $100,000 in welfare benefits from Massachusetts, but Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration was keeping the records secret due to privacy concerns.

"You have to look at the question of when you come here into the United States seeking political asylum as a refugee from a foreign country, at what point should you be getting these benefits?" said Linsky, in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.

"Should you also have the right to go back and forth to a country that you supposedly were fleeing, looking for asylum from?" Linsky asked.

The Boston Herald reported last week that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a firefight with police four days after the bombings, received state welfare benefits until 2012, well after he began showing sign of Islamic radicalization. The entire Tsarnaev family received benefits after arriving in the United States.

Linsky, who represents a district based in Natick, west of Boston, said that lawmakers were reviewing records to see if there was proper oversight from state agencies regarding the payments.

"We’re examining this from a systematic basis, trying to see whether or not there was the proper oversight and whether or not, in fact, everything they got throughout the course of the time period was, in fact, legal," Linsky said.

Linsky said that once people enter the system "there is very little oversight as far as checking what your income is."

"This is raising a lot of questions here in Massachusetts, both as to the eligibility and then the oversight that the welfare department was having over this family," said Linsky. "It looks like there are some families in Massachusetts that are getting all types of benefits with very little oversight."

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