HIALEAH, Fla. -

A furloughed Homeland Security worker expressed her frustration with the government shutdown.

Gladys Hernandez has worked for the department for 28 years. She works in maritime licensing.

Hernandez said she was considered an essential employee during the last shutdown.

"We're pawns. We're bargaining chips. 'Well, if you don't give me this, nobody's working.' What good is it? We elected these officials to take care of the people," said Hernandez. "I just think these people need to either resolve the issue or talk about something else and get us working."

Hernandez said she has reached out to the offices Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Sen. Marco Rubio but neither has responded.