Ramos, Compean on 'Glenn Beck'

This is a rush transcript from "Glenn Beck," March 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GLENN BECK, HOST: America, I have been telling the story of border agents Ramos and Compean whose lives were just turned upside-down four years ago. Ramos and Compean — they were doing their job. They were just trying to catch an illegal Mexican drug smuggler with a van packed with 800 pounds of dope.

When the drug smuggler tried to escape, Ramos and Compean shot him in the butt. As for the smuggler, he just ran scurrying back across the border there. Ramos and Compean, charged and convicted with assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to 11 and 12 years, respectively.

Serving their time began January 17, 2007. Meanwhile, the wives of Ramos and Compean desperately tried to have their husbands set free. And people all across the country wrote letters, called their senator, their congressman and the White House.

Videos: Watch Beck's interview with Ignacio Ramos I Jose Compean

They can't even speak to each other, so I have to interview them individually here in the next few minutes. This is their first on- camera and exclusive interview with anyone on this program.

First, let's go to former border agent, Nacho Ramos. Hello, Nacho. How are you, my friend?

IGNACIO RAMOS, FORMER BORDER PATROL AGENT: How are you doing? I'm doing fine. Thank you.

BECK: You know, it is strange to finally talk to you, because you are a fan of the show, and you used to listen in solitary confinement to the radio show every day. So you might feel like you know me, but this is the first time that you and I have ever spoken to each other and actually had a conversation.

RAMOS: Yes, I did listen to you every day. I had told Stu earlier you are my staple from 12:00 to 3:00 every day. You help me get through that part of the day every day.

BECK: You know, I never thought of it. While you were in solitary confinement, I know there must have been times when you heard people call in and mention you and mention the situation, and you could feel the things that were starting to move. And people were thinking and praying about you, which they were all the time.

But I never thought of the flip side. How many times did you turn on the radio or talk to somebody when they weren't talking about your ordeal? Did you ever sit in solitary confinement and just say, "Oh, please, guys. Please, I'm in here. Please don't forget about me?"

RAMOS: Many times. That's on a daily basis, actually. You know, every day you turn on the radio hoping to hear something about us.

And you know, without the letters coming in on a daily basis — you know, that's what you were hoping to hear, you know, just hoping to hear anything, something. Because that was your only outlet on the radio, and obviously we're not the only things out there. But you were just hoping to hear something.

BECK: You know, right now, the world has changed since you have been in prison. The country has been having and struggling with problems for a while. But in the last two years, we have changed. And even in the last year, we've changed. People right now feel wildly alone, like nobody is hearing their voice, that nothing is going to change, and they're feeling powerless.

I think you are exactly the person to speak directly to America, because I can't imagine feeling more powerless than the president of the United States wielding power and making sure that his, in this case, I believe his henchmen, put you in jail.

You're in solitary confinement. No voice whatsoever. How did you not give up, and how did you not just feel like totally alone?

RAMOS: Well, knowing that so many people were supporting us, receiving their letters, knowing that so many people were supporting us, their prayers, their constant letters. I can't thank everybody enough. And to know that nobody gave up on us.

Listening to you every day, you know, you are the voice, and so many people out there, you know, people out there do have a voice, and me sitting here today proves that.

BECK: Yes.

RAMOS: Since nobody gave up on us, it showed that. I mean, the pressure –- Yes?

BECK: I'm sorry to interrupt you. I'm sorry. We have bad satellite connection here.

RAMOS: No, that's fine.

BECK: We have bad satellite connection here. I have to tell you, we have to jump over to Jose here before we lose that satellite link. But we're going to have you back on the radio program next week, and spend some real time and find out what it was like in prison, et cetera, et cetera.

But welcome home. I'm glad you are free. I know you are at a restaurant right now having your first meal outside of your house after being under house arrest for the last 30-some days.


BECK: Jose Compean is coming up next. Nacho, we'll talk to you next week on the radio.


BECK: All right. Now, let's go to the other member of the dynamic duo, former border agent Jose Compean is joining us now. If you're seeing him on the television, he's holding a phone. It's not like, "Hey, mom. I'm on TV." We have lost the audio connection on the satellite and we're just holding up the picture. So it's going to be kind of a little Alexander Graham Bell and space technology. Jose, how are you, sir?


BECK: Very good. When I talked to you earlier this morning, you had just removed the ankle bracelet. The people who removed it had just left your house. And I said, "Have you even been outside off your own property yet?" You said "No."

I asked you to walk outside. You took the phone with you. The birds — I could hear them chirping. The birds were chirping and you stood in the middle of the street. I told you to get out of the middle of the street, because I think that's jaywalking. But what have you done since?

COMPEAN: We went out and had lunch to, I guess, a fancy gourmet restaurant. I think they call it Burger King. We had Burger King for lunch.


BECK: I'm sure you didn't do this and I would be very disappointed if you did. But the rebel in some would say, "Take your children and skip school for the day and go have a good time with them." Did you take your kids to school this morning or did they keep the family together today?

COMPEAN: Oh, no. They had to go to school. The boss wouldn't allow it, so they went to school.

BECK: Yes, that's what my boss would say. My wife would say that, too, "You're going to school. They can see dad again."

Did you ever, Jose — when you were in solitary confinement, and it looked like nothing was going to happen, did you ever have a point where you were about to give up?

COMPEAN: There were a few times but a lot of the letters that I was receiving, support, prayers from people all over the country really helped. I mean, they were coming in just in time.

I mean, once we heard the news about the appeals court overturning our case, that really hit me hard. And some letters, as a matter of fact, that came that afternoon and I hadn't even read them, and I started reading them. And those really helped and a lot of prayers from people really helped me.

BECK: Did you — how I can phrase this? I want to be careful on the conditions of your parole, which, by the way, Gresh, I don't even know. How odd is this for all these conditions where you can't — your sentence has been commuted. Then you couldn't talk to the press. Now, you can talk to the press, but only a little bit to the press. Does your attorney say, Jose, when you can actually speak like a normal American again?

COMPEAN: I guess we've got to wait and see what happens with the Supreme Court, because our case is still pending. So we're still waiting to see what's going to happen with that.

BECK: And the Supreme Court — you're trying to overturn everything so this is erased from your record?


BECK: OK. We wish you luck, and we will talk to you again. Hopefully, we can talk to you on the radio show next week as well. Welcome home, and job well done.

COMPEAN: Thank you, Glenn. One last thing, if I could.

BECK: Sure.

COMPEAN: I would like to thank you for all of the help and support you gave my family. It really means a lot, and you know, listening to you on the radio every morning really helped.

BECK: I have to tell you, Jose. America is an amazing place, and there are amazing people that when they just see an injustice, they stand up to help correct it. There are a lot of people that have been in your corner for a long time.

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