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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday morning that President Obama's executive actions on immigration a year ago were necessary and are helping to keep dangerous immigrants out of the country.

The Homeland Security Department changed how it asks cities and municipalities to deport criminals to get greater cooperation from so-called "sanctuary cities," Johnson said. By sending detainers outlining an immigrant's dangerous crimes, instead of just lists of arrested illegals, DHS is gaining more assistance from local authorities, he said.

Most of the 340 "uncooperative" cities and municipalities "are now working with us on the priority enforcement program," Johnson told the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman's annual conference in Washington on Thursday. He directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to focus on convicted criminals for capture and deportation.

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