George W. Bush and President Barack Obama

George W. Bush and President Barack Obama Credit: George W. Bush and President Barack Obama (Getty Images)

While Barack Obama’s surveillance policies have come under fire in recent weeks, his predecessor is heaping praise on the president for taking a tough stand against terrorism.

“I think the president got into the Oval Office and realized the dangers to the United States,” former President George W. Bush said in a taped interview that aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “He’s acted in a way that he thinks is necessary to protect the country. Protecting the country’s the most important job of the presidency.”

Obama has continued many of the aggressive counterterrorism measures implemented by the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11. Last month, former CIA contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of U.S. cellphone and Internet surveillance programs.

Bush also applauded Obama for his push to pass comprehensive immigration reform, which has cleared the Senate and awaits a House vote.

The legislation would create a pathway to citizenship for about 11 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

“It’s very important to fix a broken system, to treat people with respect and have confidence in our capacity to assimilate people,” Bush said.

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