President Obama and former President Clinton praised former President George W. Bush this morning for his efforts to pass immigration reform.

President Obama reminded the audience of Bush “reaching across the aisle to unlikely allies like Ted Kennedy” for his bipartisan efforts on No Child Left Behind and immigration reform.

“Seven years ago, President Bush restarted an important conversation by speaking with the American people about our history as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants,” Obama said. “And even though comprehensive immigration reform has taken a little longer than any of us expected, I am hopeful that this year, with the help of Speaker Boehner and some of the Senators and members of Congress who are here today, that we bring it home.”

Clinton mentioned immigration briefly during his remarks after praising Bush for his work on aid to Africa.

“I want to thank you for your efforts, when president, to reform our immigration system, and keep America a nation of immigrants, and I hope that Congress will follow President Obama’s efforts to follow the example you’ve set,” Clinton said.