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Asylum seekers file lawsuit against Berlin's largest registration center

Refugees have filed a lawsuit against Berlin's largest registration center for failing to register them, a necessary step to receiving social benefits. An official said the court has seen similar cases in the past month.

At least 20 asylum seekers have filed a lawsuit against the Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs - the authority in charge of administering the refugee influx - for failing to register them promptly, a court official said on Monday.

The official said that similar cases had been received by the court in the past weeks, though he added that Monday's filing is the largest the court has seen.

A decision on the asylum seekers' case is expected from the court before the end of October.

The asylum seekers that filed the suit said they must be registered in order to receive social benefits, including housing, citing a lack of monetary resources to sustain a livelihood for the coming weeks.

Local authorities have said that they are struggling to cope with the influx of refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Between 800,000 and a million refugees are expected to arrive in Germany in 2015, with Syrians comprising the largest group of asylum seekers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has witnessed falling approval ratings for her open-door policy to refugees, with a handful of her conservative allies criticizing her administration's response to the crisis.

ls/bk (AFP, dpa)

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