According the the Lincoln Museum, Abraham Lincoln was a harsh critic of the anti-immigrant Know Nothing movement of the 1850s. He seemed to particularly resent their claims of patriotism while trying to take freedoms away from targeted groups.
On August 24, 1855, Abe said in a private letter to Joshua Speed,
“I am not a Know-Nothing—that is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equals, except negroes and foreigners and Catholics.’ When it comes to that, I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”