An undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who was going to be deported a few days after graduating with honors from a Virginia high school has received a 1-year postponement so she can find work and avoid being sent back to Central America, The Washington Post said Tuesday.

Heydi Mejia, 18, was only 4 years old when here mother, Dora Aldana, brought her to the United States.

The teenager, who graduated last Friday from Richmond's Meadowbrook High School and had plans to go to college, received a visit in December from immigration officials who notified her that she would be deported.

Mejia's case is an example of the thousands of young people brought to the United States by their parents when they were children and who grew up and were educated in the United States.

Many of them only find out they are undocumented immigrants when they reach age 16 and apply for a driver's license or try to enroll in university.

The Washington Post, which published Monday an extensive front-page article on Mejia's plight, said Tuesday that the 1-year postponement would allow her to enroll in college and get a part-time job.

"Her attorney, Ricky Malik, has filed a motion with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to reopen her case, which could lead to a dismissal of the deportation order or a longer deferral," the newspaper said.

"It has been an overwhelming week, for sure," Mejia said. "I've had every emotion, and now I just feel so relieved and so lucky."

President Barack Obama has instructed immigration authorities to be flexible in cases of students who entered the U.S. illegally as children. EFE