Stephanie Martinez knows one of them. "This is my husband and his baby right now. This is about the last time he saw our baby," she told Pelley, showing him a photo.
Martinez was born in Germany. She came to the United States as a teenager, became a citizen, and married a carpenter named Sergio Martinez, who was an illegal immigrant from Mexico.
"Even though we don't look so all-American, we really had an all-American family. We were having a mortgage, and a nice backyard and a tree house for the kids," Martinez said.
Asked if they were living the American dream, Martinez said, "Yeah. It felt American to us."
And she said her husband felt American.
Martinez built homes; his wife raised the children and taught Hebrew school on the side. In 2007, Martinez was pulled over for a traffic stop and the police discovered he was in the U.S. illegally. Martinez was deported to Mexico. And under U.S. law, there was practically no way for him to obtain legal status once he'd committed an immigration violation.
"He took matters into his own hand and came and took a bus to the border and called me from there that he was about to cross and that there was no one going to hold him from doing that," Martinez remembered.
Asked what happened to her husband, Martinez said, "They caught him two times. And on his third try to cross, he drowned."
"You know many people watching this interview are probably thinking to themselves 'This is a terrible tragedy for your family, but he shouldn't have come. What he did was illegal and he shouldn't have tried,'" Pelley pointed out.
"That is true and I understand that. But I think that once you put yourself in the position…how many fathers are watching this? How many moms are watching this that have a small baby at home? And then imagine that some legality keeps you from seeing that baby. People say that people should come here legally. And I absolutely agree, but what people don't know is you're not able to do that," she said.
"Couldn't we just put a few lines. Just anything like a buoy or something where people can grab onto. Deport them all, I don't care, but just to put something up so people don't have to die," Martinez pleaded at a hearing of the Irrigation District.
One of the directors listening that day was Stella Mendoza who's been with the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) for nine years.
"Is the IID supposed to save every individual that jumps into the canal? Is that my role as a director?" Mendoza asked.
Mendoza told "60 Minutes" that she worries that adding safety features like buoys, lines or ladders would give illegal immigrants a false sense of security.
Asked if she feels the canal is safe, Mendoza told Pelley, "The canal is intended to convey water to the Imperial Valley from the Colorado River. It's not intended as a recreation and so…."
"We're not talking about recreation here. We're talking about people desperate to come into the United States and who are losing their lives in your canal," Pelley remarked.
"I understand that. When an individual decides to cross the desert, decides to cross the mountains, decides to jump into the canal to swim across, they are taking their lives in their own hands. They have to be accountable for their actions," Mendoza argued.
In 2007, as the drownings continued, the board approved climb-out ladders along about one quarter of the canal's length. But they're spaced every 500 feet - a drowning man would be lucky to reach one.