In this Pennsylvania congressional race, only Democratic challenger George Scott is willing to stand up against Trump's cruel family separation policy.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, steadfastly refuses to criticize Trump’s unconscionable family separation policy. Even when given an opportunity at a recent debate, Perry refused to engage on the issue.

Early during the debate, both candidates were asked their position on protecting the U.S. border from “illegal aliens and guns.”

Perry began his answer by praising immigrants, even saying most immigrants don’t have any ill intent toward anyone in this country.

But before long, Perry pivoted to fear-mongering about drug dealers, weapon traffickers, and MS-13 — a violent gang often invoked by Trump to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment.

Throughout his answer, however, Perry refused to address one of the nation’s biggest stories over the past several months: Trump’s decision to rip children away from their families as a deterrent to immigration.

In the past, Perry has seemed supportive of Trump’s initiative. In a June statement, he praised Trump’s program, saying, “While illegal activities on our borders that exploit children and our resources aren’t new, the enforcement of our laws is.”

In that same statement, Perry said, “We must do everything we can to ensure that all children are being cared for.” However, the Trump administration knew that its family separation policy could cause irreparable harm to children.

Even as information came out showing that children were not being properly cared for, Perry could not muster the courage to issue a single criticism of Trump’s failed policy. One toddler even got sick in a detention facility and died shortly after being released, but Perry still refuses to criticize the program.

Perry’s position is less surprising considering he votes to support the Trump agenda more than 85 percent of the time. Perry also said it is “unfortunate” that immigrant children can’t be detained longer than 20 days, a policy put in place to protect the well-being of children.

Democratic challenger George Scott, on the other hand, criticized the program in the first few seconds of his answer.

“There’s a way to secure the border and do it compassionately,” Scott said. “Tearing children away from families — even families that are crossing without proper documentation — is not the way to do that. We can enforce our border security in a humane manner.”

Many families who arrive at the U.S. border are fleeing horrific violence or other terrible situations, and are seeking safety and asylum. Trump’s family separation policy inflicted even more pain on these families, and Perry can’t even utter a word against it.

The debate was hosted by the Rotary Club of York, and the full debate can be viewed online.