Tamerlan Tsarnaev's family received some welfare aid up until last year, but the Patrick administration is refusing the Boston Herald's request for details, citing Tsarnaev's right to privacy. The state wouldn't give out information on any unemployment compensation either, nor would the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth comment on any student aid Dzhokhar may have received.
"It's certainly relevant information that should be made public," says Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Democrat currently running for John Kerry's Senate seat. "There's a national security interest No. 1. Secondly, there's also a public interest in finding out whether these individuals were able to exploit the system." In addition to acknowledging that Tamerlan's family received some assistance, the state has said that both brothers received assistance through their parents "for a limited portion" of time after arriving in the US circa 2002.