In 2016, the international community, in reaction to the growing number of ‘tragedies’ occurring as people attempted to move across borders, met to discuss large movements of refugees and migrants. The outcome of this meeting was an agreement to negotiate two Global Compacts, one on refugees and one on migrants, with the aim of facilitating ‘orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people’. This article explores how responsibility in the Global Compact on Migrant is expressive of a changed way of ‘doing’ migration. The language of ‘responsibility’ raises questions about how the international community views international migration and, by extension, prepares the ground for policy and practice on international migration. Taking a genealogical, jurisprudential approach, we follow the logic which brings migration, development and human rights language together to construct a new subjectivity: that of the ‘responsible’ migrant. The migrant human will be a rights-bearer because they will contribute to development in particular gendered ways. We argue that assuming a narrow understanding of responsibility misses expressive dynamics in the normalizing of international migration within a new framing to inform international law making.