Many immigrants who travelled to America were either poor or came from wealth that came with a trade or skill that allowed them to earn money and provide for their families. Railroad workers, seamstresses, cooks, bricklayers, nurses or teachers are just some of the occupations to name a few.
After hours of waiting and medical and legal inspections many immigrants were often overwhelmed and nervous with their first steps and journey onto the streets of America. Due to many of the passengers coming from different countries in Europe many of them would exchange their currency that included, paper, gold or silver for American dollars. For those looking to explore outside of New York City would locate the train ticket booths that would sell on average 25 tickets per minute. Train rotes would vary sending immigrants to the mid west or as west as California.